Are you a Positive Deviant?
“We need to look at how individuals and organizations within our own systems achieved stellar results using the resources available to the system (and then duplicate then learn from that individual or organization),” reader Frances Miller said in a recent comment on one of my blog posts. “Many times we spend our energy looking for outside experts when they are right there within our organization; we just have to learn how to develop a culture where others support their use.”
Miller’s comment brought to mind a 2004 JSD interview I did with Jerry Sternin. Sternin and his wife, Monique, had applied the concept of “positive deviance” to life-saving work they did for Save the Children in the villages of Vietnam and to solving other seemingly intractable problems, and I was curious about the implications of the practice in educational settings.
“Positive deviants are people whose behavior and practices produce solutions…
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